Bringing an old home back to life. And on a small budget.

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So, here is the unveiling of our wonderful little hidden gem.  We only had $130,000 for a loan to work with and I found this HUD house, made a bid and God was kind, no one else bid on it that night so in the morning we were proud parents of a poor, neglected and abused home.  It had been abandoned for years and housing squatters.  It had some funky energy and smells, to say the least.  But with some of our savings, lot’s of scrubbing, soap, paint, and planting of trees and gardens…it is back to a wonderful life housing a loud and fun family.

We purchased the house for $135,000, closing costs were $9,000 and all the work and supplies along with hiring Leo, our carpenter, was around $15,000 give or take.  Total $159,000.  We used savings that came from 6 years of frugal living and we still have some savings left.  Our mortgage with insurance, taxes and MIP (mortgage insurance you must pay if you didn’t put 20% down) all included is a fabulous $918.02!  It took us 6 weeks to do the work with Leo working daily and my husband working after his job each day and his one day off.

Here are the rest of the before and afters.

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The color is wild but it’s hard to see from those little swatches what you will really get.

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It still needs a little work here and there.  But this is the main chunk of the progress.  I look forward to seeing how this little house evolves over the years.

For those of you interested in getting out of debt and living a more frugal lifestyle for peace of mind and real freedom in life, check out my new book The Homemade Housewife.  I have every tip and advice that I have learned over the years from hundreds of other frugal hens and applied.  This frugal living was the only way we were able to purchase our first home because we live on one small income and have 4 humans and 3 furry family members to take care of.

So, if you want to get motivated get this book and have fun with the journey.  It cost less than a cup of gas station coffee.  I want everyone to have the joy and freedom I have found in living sustainably, frugally, and simply.

 

 

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The gift of the yellow rose.

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Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.      Zechariah 9:12

I love hearing that there will be double for my trouble.  That seems to be the message I’ve been given often lately.

I have been given beyond double for what has been taken from me in my short life.  A large chunk of my life was pure hell.

But it has had a happy ending for sure.  I have been given back years and years lost.  I have been blessed far beyond my imaginings thus far and I am still receiving gifts all the time.

Recently, we received nothing short of a miracle in the housing department.

I woke up one morning and just knew it was time to buy a house.  And what a wrong time it seemed to be.  Housing prices in California have skyrocketed, rents are going up 13% a year here in Sacramento, finance rates are set to rise…boy oh boy.  My blood pressure was rising right alongside all that.

Then I found a great real estate agent and lender and was told we only qualified for 130K in a loan!  What??!! The average home in this area is starting at 250K to 350K.  That is an average home in an average neighborhood.  We are talking Sacramento where it used to be affordable.  With 130K we are not even entering the bad neighborhoods with run down homes.  We are talking trailers in the outback.

But God was kind and He had a little 1941 home hidden away in Yuba City.  No one claimed it and when I ran out of options I drove by this HUD home and thought I’d give it a try.  I put in my bid and the next morning I was the winner!  I got this little gem for 135K.

It is charming and in a fairly good neighborhood.  I say fairly because there is just one little unit across the way that is causing some issue.  But isn’t that the way of the world these days?  There is always that one bad apple.

Turns out that our little, sweet home was that bad apple for a long time.  According to my neighbors, my new home has housed squatters, prostitutes, and drug dealers for years.  It sort of shows.  The home needs a lot of work.  However, on the outside of the home are a few bushes and trees that have produced the most lovely red and purple flowers.  Off to the side of the driveway is a yellow rose bush with the most fragrant roses.  I didn’t even know roses had a scent anymore due to all the mixing of breeds.  I read an article the other day about roses and I was surprised to read that yellow roses are the least likely to have a scent.

But there is my reminder of all that is good and rare.  A bright yellow rose bush that has survived decades with that house and all it’s unhappy going ons.  It has remained victorious and fills the air with a thick perfume.

Soon, after lots of loving work, the whole house will become a home and the yellow rose bush will have all the more reason to celebrate.  For me, it will be a reminder that God is always there in all things to help us find our right spot and our right people.

John Grays World.

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This is my new TV minister.  I am so into this man right now that poor Joyce Meyer sometimes has to get in line if I have to choose between the two.

At first, I just thought he was another of those loud and annoying preachers but one day I felt compelled to not change the channel.  I have been watching him ever since.  He is dynamic, fun, deep, sharp, and entertaining as all get out.

This man knows his bible like no one else.  He even seems to know some of the old history and cultures that surrounded Biblical times.  He applies it to today’s world and everyday life just as other pastors do but the difference is that he is also an entertainer at heart and has a penchant for analyzing the human spirit.  He will often break out into a gospel song in the middle of a sermon or read a poem he wrote about Christ that will compel one to stand up alone in their living room and cheer (yes, I have done this).

I’m usually a mellow watcher of sermons.  I sip my coffee and listen attentively to Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyer with hardly a nod.  I often change the channel with Creflo Dollar.  With this John Gray, I turn into a black Christian woman on a Sunday at a Gospel church.  I yell, I cheer, I hold my hand up in the air, I do standing ovations…all kinds of bizarro actions for my personality.  But the man’s preaching moves me something fierce.  I don’t always remember what he said afterward but I’m lovin’ it!

I looked him up and it turns out he is also an actor, writer, playwright, singer…no wonder he’s so fun to watch and so deep and intense.  He’s been in gospel choirs, movies, all sorts of good stuff.  Right now it seems he’s happy preaching the Word.  And I, personally, hope that he continues for a long, long time.

He can be found on the Christian channels.  He is an associate pastor under Joel Osteen at his Lakewood Church in HoustonTexas.  Try him out a few times to get a real sense of the man.  You may not regret it.  He can get little wild at times.  I find that I like to mix and match my ministers.  Joyce Meyer is my daily bread, Joel Osteen is my cake when I just want happy and positive, and then there is Joseph Prince and I never thought I’d like him but he’s pretty good and funny as well.  There are some pretty fabulous people out there preaching the Word.

Coffee and the Word, can’t beat that combo for a fantastic start to the day.

The beginnings of bringing an old home back to life.

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This little 1941 home is my new love and hobby.  After years of saving and living frugally, we were able to purchase this little diamond in the rough.  We paid $135,000 by winning a bid for this HUD home.  In today’s market in California, this is unheard of.  Can you say Amen!!  God has given me another gift.

Now, I’m really grateful for this gift, however, it’s looking like we are also the gift to the house and the neighborhood as well.  And that is how blessings seem to work, you are blessed and in return you bless others.  According to my sweet elder neighbor Penny, this house has served the squatters, prostitutes, drug addicts and drug dealers of this town.  No wonder I always feel off when I leave the house.  I love it and all its charm but the energy is terrible!  My Mormon realtor offered to find someone to do a blessing on the house and I said it couldn’t happen fast enough.  Penny advised me to not put my blue shoes on the porch.  Turns out that was the secret signal for “drugs in”.

Oh boy.  So, we have some work to do and some sage burning, expelling dark spirits and avoiding any shoes on the porch.

This home once housed a sweet family that was so grateful to have it.  I envision June Cleaver brewing coffee and making breakfast for her family, her Ward sitting at the dining room table with a paper in hand, the children getting ready to walk to school…because back then it was safe to let kids go out and walk alone.

Then this age came and my poor, poor house has seen drug abuse, sexual deviance, and all sorts of atrocities.  I cringe to think of it…and I just don’t allow myself to go there.

But mama is here now!!!  We are scrubbing, painting, replacing, fixing, mending, patching, and planting all sorts of goodness.  I will fill that house with good music, Joyce Meyer, John Gray World, and Joel Osteen on the TV, I’ll have blessings spoken over it and I already have my sage.  We will restore it to its former delightfulness and fill it with all the good vibes those 4 walls can stand.  Boy oh boy, that house is in for some good times.

But first, we had to find someone or someone’s to help us fix this home with its stained carpets, peeling paint, holes, corroded pipes, and fizzled wires.  We needed a fence, new doors, new kitchen flooring…

All sorts of men showed up with big ideas, promises of transformation, cheap rates, and said skills.  All those men faltered in some way.  Either they just never called back or they canceled on the day they were supposed to show up.  Electricians wanted thousands and thousands of dollars to do needed and unneeded work.  We were getting nervous.

One day I drove over to the house to meet an installation man.  I prayed, “All we need is one person who is honest, hard working, has some skills, and is affordable!  We are working on a small budget here.”  I also prayed for someone that had some time and was a little hungry for work.

And God did provide!  As I was with the installation man, an old Hispanic man with a limp and a tape measurer arrived and said my husband sent him.  I took note of his age and the hitch in his leg but I figured he had some strong help.  He would probably be the boss man.  I showed him all about the house and property.  He spoke clear English and it was obvious in a short time that this man had skills and knowledge that only an older man that had been in the business for decades could have.

He talked about the lath and plaster of the walls and how the house was built well and we wanted to preserve the old walls, he appreciated the charm and integrity of the home. When I would talk about replacing something he would correct me and say that it was fine and just needed fixing.  He suggested we save money where we could.  He used words like, “save money” and “use this and that because it’ll last longer, is of better quality but cost less”.  When I talked about how I wanted the trees preserved when the fence was built he agreed and said, “trees give us oxygen”.  He was obviously frugal and wise and green.  I was in love by the end of the tour.

His name is Leo and he’s been working ever since.  He shows up every day early and works harder and better than most 20-year-olds.  He works alone and that old man can tear a whole wooden, 6-foot high fence down faster than I can get my grocery shopping done.   Bali wanted to tear my old walls out and he looks confused with a machete.  Leo won’t let Bali touch my walls or my trees.  And this makes me love him all the more.

Bali and Leo work morning and night to rebuild our sweet home.  Turns out Leo really needed the work just as much as we needed him.  He has all day, seven days a week to work on the house and should be done within 3 weeks.  I’ll be posting before and after photos as soon as the work is done.

God does provide.  Always.  It’s just not always how we pictured it or who we pictured.  His gifts come in strange ways and packaging but have faith.  He knows what he’s doing.  Leo is a gift to us.  He knows his stuff.  He isn’t all talk.  He actually doesn’t say much but he’s saved us so much money and stress already.  He picks the best materials that will last decades and he works like a young man.  He is never late or hung over.  I don’t think many people would hire him because the first thing they see is his age and crippled leg.

But they are really missing out.  This man is determined, honest, wise, shrewd, and skilled.  He is also affordable.  He appreciates the character of an old house and he tends to all my trees and shrubs carefully.

Thank you again, God.

 

The 40 days to change complete!

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Yesterday was the final day of my self-created 40 days to change.  It was magnificent because my biggest goal when I started this game was to find a home for my family and yesterday I signed the escrow papers for our new home!  I didn’t even realize this fantastic gift until today when I looked at the calendar and found that, not only am I done with this challenge, I had finished with such a huge goal achieved.

How did this challenge come about?  I had gone to church one Sunday (we are irregular, unfortunately).  Arjan, my eldest, had asked that we go to church.  He said it was time to go back.  Now, he’s 4 years old and when a 4-year-old tells you that it’s time to go to church…I’m thinking, especially now, that it’s God sending a message through a pure little spirit.  I didn’t mess around.  We went to one of the mega churches in Roseville.  I did get a message, two actually, while there that day.  One of them came in the form of a big banner that said “40 Days To Change Challenge!”  I’m sure it was more about the Bible and knowing God, however, I decided to take it and apply it to myself and my home.  I can’t remember the other message but this one pretty much changed my life so we will let the other go.

What inspired this challenge?  I had fallen into a sort of housewife blues.  I was working like crazy on my writing career for over a year and my home and family life was way out of balance.  I had also become depressed with house hunting and not having the funds, losing out on a couple homes, and just feeling hopeless.  My home was a mess, the money was a mess, I was tired all the time, we were eating a lot of frozen foods and drive thru.  My boys were watching way too much TV and I had stopped exercising completely.  I had hit a wall with everything!  I need to be snapped out of it and really motivated and inspired.

 

The house hunting was really getting me down.  We only had $30K in savings and, although it sounds good, it was pocket change when it comes to putting a down on a house these days.  Then I started working with this great lender and she handed me the reality that we only qualified for a $130K loan.  In today’s market where, even in Sacramento (once a very affordable area), homes are now starting at $350K to $500k.  And that is for an average home.  You can see where the depression started growing.  We had worked so hard and went without for so many years preparing for this moment.  The moment came and we were priced out of the market.  I was finding homes alright, but in ghettos, and they were still above our price range.

The Challenge.  I refused to be a victim.  One day I rose off that couch and looked about.  I was truly disgusted.  I began a new and better life right then and there for myself and my whole family right down to the dogs and Maggie, my beloved cat.

I decided to start practicing what I preach.  I write books about being frugal, homemaking, cooking from scratch, staying inspired.  I had gotten off track but no more.  I picked up the vacuum and my budgeting notebook, I turned off that TV and put the boys outside in the sandbox and sunshine, I brewed my coffee, put on my music and started making big plans.

First, to get my house scrubbed and organized again.  To get back to all my home cooking and up the vegetables and produce times three.  To get back to exercising every day for an hour.  To complete some of my unfinished novellas.  To find a house we could afford.  To understand the Bible and God a bit more.  To have way more play and fun.  To have way less TV and more outdoor time.  To have less work and more family and friend time.  To get our budget in order.  To find a balance between work and home.

What happened on the journey.  My list was pretty simple.  I got out the cleaning supplies, the budgeting notebook, the Bible.  I started making schedules and plans, setting goals and cutting cost.  What wound up happening was amazing.  What was accomplished in the end went beyond my goals.

Every day I would do a large and a small task and I would take the boys out to the park, an errand outside the house, or to the library.  We started ordering tons of books from the library again.   I didn’t take the boys out every single day, however, the days we didn’t go somewhere they would play out in our back yard all day.  As long as they get dirty and soak up the sun and air, I’m happy.

TV is minimal now.  The house is filled with good music most of the day.  The boys watch some educational PBS in the morning.  I enjoy Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen in the mornings with my coffee.  I’ve taken a liking to Creflo Dollar lately also.  As for the evenings, my husband’s diet of 2 hours of news has been reduced to half an hour and then we enjoy some comedy.  We both really enjoy The Big Bang Theory lately.

As for exercise, I got back onto my tread climber and almost daily I read, sweat, and put in an hour.  I don’t work out every single day.  We traveled a bit and I had appointments.  But it was at least 4 to 6 days a week.  I haven’t lost even an ounce but I do feel great.  I feel energetic during the day and deliciously tired at night.  My body feels good and strong and I’m much happier.  Exercise will do that.

Our diet is fabulous again.  I am back to making everything from scratch, we eat tons of produce morning, noon, and night.  We have had some drive thru (Taco Bell of course) and I have done some convenience food.  I love Annie’s mac and cheese, however, we will have organic green beans, salad, and some chicken with that.  We have a salad daily, twice a day at times and we have 1 to 5 vegetables with lunch and dinner.  Breakfast has a lot of fruit.  We snack on avocados, apples, carrots, mangos.  We are down to eating one chicken a week and that is the only meat.  We are maybe 60 percent vegetarian through the week.  I don’t want to be vegetarian completely but I feel better eating a minimal amount.  Our diet is tons of produce, yogurt, chicken, bread, brown rice, beans, eggs, potatoes, and coffee, of course.  Everything listed is homemade.

I find my cooking is getting much better, more flavorful lately.  We are all feeling and looking good.  What a difference healthy and homemade makes.

I sat down and made out a monthly budget.  I found the best way to get finances under control is to stop spending.  I did not get this book but I did read this woman’s blog and I like her ideas.  I was going to buy the book and then decided to save the coinage and start the NO spending.

I usually do get books when I need inspiration but the books have to be through the library.  Or I look up blogs of women that get me motivated.

Anyway, the best way to get your money in order is to stop all spending.  So, I pay the rent, the utilities, some gas and grocery money and that is it.  I got the groceries down to around $400-$600 with all the cooking from scratch and not buying extras.  No junk food, convenience food…nada.

Then the tax refund came and I paid off all the little debts that just happen, the tread climber, my editor, my credit card (it was a secured card but the bank “rewarded” me by turning it into a regular credit card and kept increasing the limit until I called and ask them to stop).  I paid it all off.  Little debts and extra bills can really cause issues.  They start to choke the budget as a little patch of weeds can get out of control in a garden very fast if not pulled and cleaned out.

I then created a household savings account linked to the family checking account and put a $1,000 in that account.  Our big savings in another bank altogether so we can’t touch it.  I filled up Bali’s secured card.  With the remaining money, I stocked up our kitchen pantry and bathroom toiletries cabinet.  I used a small amount to buy gifts for friends and family and for us to have some fun at the thrift store.

All my accounts are full now and we are very comfortable.

Now, the house.  We couldn’t afford a house in our area so I moved South.  The town my husband works in is small, sweet, and affordable.  Still, couldn’t afford it.  Then I started studying foreclosures.  The problem with foreclosures is that there is usually so much damage that it won’t qualify for a conventional or FHA loan.  But HUD houses do!  They are kept up to state standards of good repair and will qualify for all kinds of loans.  I just happened to read about this and then low and behold…I drove past a HUD house for sale in a nice and tidy little neighborhood.  It was $135K.  Bingo.  I put an offer on it and the bidding started.  By midnight no one else had bid and we won.

Long story short, we now own a little 1941 house that needs some work but has good bones.  The closing cost was far lower than predicted and we will have enough to hire the carpenter, plumber, electrician, installation company, and buy all the supplies with money to spare.

I continue to be as frugal as my great, great grandmother.  I love having plenty of money in the bank and not sweat the bills.  I have grown fond of this way of living and I now set aside some money monthly to do a little thrift store fun, go to the movies, or out to eat.  I even do these things frugally as in dining at two for one deals or a buffet like the Golden Corral.  Movies are something I brought back to my life after years of not going to a theater.  I can get half off on the ticket and popcorn on Tuesdays with my new Regency card.  I get free Starbucks cards through my bank when I use my credit card.

Then I started working on my self-esteem.  I feel pretty good but I’ve had a lifelong struggle with the weight.  I don’t know if it will be leaving in this lifetime so I decided to look my best as is.  I finally went clothes shopping at one of the best thrift stores where the wealthy dump their clothes.  I created a new wardrobe that I love.  I also purchased all kinds of new makeup (I’ve been wearing only mascara for years), hair dye, and I actually bought myself two new pairs of great Sketcher shoes!  This is all big.  I haven’t had new shoes in 8 years.  I say no to thrift store shoes, I believe they cause body issues, back issues.  Don’t do it.

I also decided that from now on I purchase quality only.  That goes for clothes, shoes, household items.  I started by buying really great, high thread, long lasting sheets at this thrift store.  I found Calvin Klien and Bed and Bath items.  No more shabby things or cheap stuff that falls apart easily.  If you really take the time you can get great pieces of furniture, sheets, and outfits at thrift stores.  I shop in the towns were the wealthy bay area people live.  The rich tire of their goods quickly.

Last of all but the most important and the most unexpected part.  I grew my relationship with God in an incredible way.  It started with an advertisement to The Shack, then I saw a trailer for a movie called The Case for Christ. My interest was peaked.  I ordered the book The Case for Christ and wound up with Lee Strobel’s book The Case for the Real Jesus.  I’m sure now that God decided that I should start with that book.  Why?  Because I didn’t order that book from the library…at least I didn’t mean to.  But that came and it led to me reading The Case for the Creator.  I then took myself to the movies and watched The Shack and cried for two days.  I knew that God was talking to me and it was an incredible feeling when the supernatural comes into your life.

I have purchased The Everyday Life Bible with Joyce Meyers and I read it daily.  I once upon a time looked on the Bible with suspicion and disdain.  I find comfort in it now.  I don’t understand it all and I never will.  I’m ok with that now.  I love connecting with God daily through the written Word.  I am currently reading The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel.  I have to say that I came into this riding the fence.  I didn’t like the Bible, I was sure Jesus was just a prophet, and God was just this Universal energy to be bent with positive thoughts and the art of manifesting.

Oh, how different my thinking is now.  I have always had a love of Jesus and felt His presence in my life for the last decade, however, now that my eyes and heart are being opened in all matters and I continue my research and learning, my love and respect grows.  I feel my relationship with God changing profoundly.  I see myself and my life blossoming in all these miraculous ways, I feel so good, I feel protected, provided for, guided, and I feel an unseen presence taking root in my heart and my life.  I laugh deeply and cry heartily almost daily and I love it!  I may seem a bit unbalanced to the outsider’s observance but I feel more sane and happy than ever in my life.  I have an anchor in the storm at last.  I know where I belong.  I have decided to turn my life completely to the Christian life without further question.

And so, I have my mug of coffee in hand and I watch my Joel, Joyce, Creflo…whatever is on at that time.  I read my big, pink bible and I continue on this fantastic journey.

Life has improved vastly in the 40 days.  Finances are good, the house purchased, kids sun-kissed, music replacing media, we are all eating our veggies and getting daily exercise, I love God and have a growing relationship with Christ…

The books and my writing career…almost forgot.  I accomplished a lot in this area as well.  With the books that I’ve already published, I stopped being cheap but remained frugal.  I used to do all my own editing, proofreading and I’d create book covers from Amazons free cover creator.  I have been selling my books on a larger scale now and with that, I’ve also been receiving ratings and reviews.  I’m pleased with all the reviews.  Some are great and ego boosting and some provide much needed criticism which I then use to improve.

One criticism I have been receiving is in regards to my proofreading and typos.  So, I stopped being so very cheap and I hired a friend who does editing to proofread and edit all my books.  I sent every book to her.  Fortunately, she is kind and knows I’m still a struggling artist and is charging me a fraction of what she should be charging.  I also found this great website that offers two for one ebook covers and if I do a coupon for $75 with the combined two for one I can get four book covers!  Yay!  Probably not yay for James, the cover maker, but it’s great for my wallet.

I have put new and store bought covers on ALL my books and had them ALL edited.  My sales have increased.  It gives your books more of a reputable standing when they look polished and as though the author spent some time and money on them.  I have also changed my blog.  I was weary of putting real family photos up but I realized people want to connect to the blogger.  I have changed my format and add a combination of personal photos and free photos off the internet.  My traffic has doubled and my views quadrupled and beyond.  It helps that I’m writing more from the heart than ever.

I have not worked on my fiction books at all.  I have one book half written and two books started.  I cannot even begin to focus on writing at this time.  That will be another challenge.

The novella writing challenge!  Challenges are what keep me motivated.  I hope this blog has inspired and motivated some of you out there.

Healing our mind. Starting a new life.

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Our whole world comes from our mind and how we live.  We have a choice every single day to grow our life, destroy it, start over anew, or remain stagnant.

To live the best life humanly possible is simply this; live a wholesome life, have a relationship with God, follow your heart and God’s guidance in all matters, put God, family, and then work in that order.

Of course, there are all the subcategories: live debt free, do not partake or encourage bad habits and addictions,  treat others with respect, do good deeds often, have a community.

Now, I know that there are mental health issues and addictions that keep some people from having a full life.  I’m no doctor or therapist so I can’t give that sort of advice.  However, I can speak from my own experience.

I was raised by a brilliant woman who had a mental illness and was undiagnosed until much, much later in her life.  And she chose not to continue with her medication even though it made a huge difference…for her and everyone around her.  She was also an alcoholic and addicted to sleeping pills.  I find that many people that struggle with mental illness are addicted to pills or alcohol.  The alcohol and pills or drugs help them feel normal or happy for a short period and they become addicted to that.

I grew up being abused verbally and emotionally abused almost my whole existence with this woman.  Although I’m not mentally unbalanced, I chose alcohol and marijuana to find an escape and comfort from the hell that was created at home.   After I left home I continued my addictions and also remained in touch with my mother.  I felt like it was my duty as a daughter to help her.  I even moved home to tend to her when she was dying.

This mother/daughter relationship almost destroyed me.  For years I would drink and smoke pot and cigarettes, I had no relationship with God, and I was deeply depressed.  I made poor choices that just perpetuated my miserable existence.  I tried outrunning my own sadness, moving from town to town, changing jobs yearly, dating men for only a few weeks or months at a time.  I lived in a fantasy world in my mind because I didn’t know how to create a life that was beautiful in my reality.  This went on for decades, literally.

Today my life is beyond completely different.  It went from dark to light, from silent to song.

Today, when I am in the kitchen with small ones playing at my feet and I’m kneading dough for the bread I’ll be baking, my music playing, the sun filling the room, my heart full…it’s hard to imagine the life I used to have.  No one would recognize my life today from even 8 years ago.

The two things that changed my life completely; getting sober and delving into a spiritual life.

The combination is nothing short of miraculous.  It doesn’t matter how you have to get to God, just do it.  Without faith and a relationship with Him life is bleak and has no answers.

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So long as you are poisoning your body and mind with the likes of booze, drugs, pills, even pot smoking on a regular basis, there will be no clarity or peace.

Debt is another darkness that must be overcome.  There is no freedom in debt.

Then the focus must be on healing the mind.  Center for Spiritual Living had a motto, “Heal your mind and you heal your life.”  Your words and your thoughts create your inner world that expands out and co-creates your outer world.

We see this all the time.  We all know that one person that is so negative and miserable.  They are always complaining of the injustices of their life.  And sure enough, their life is a mess.  Things go wrong for them all the time.  They have the worst luck.

Then we have that positive and cheerful person.  They sing about a good life and they are grateful for every little thing.  Their life is good, everything goes pretty well for them, they seem to have so much good fortune.

There is magic in life.  There are miracles all the time.  The Source is ready for you, there is an abundance of love and support waiting to help you, heal you.  Ask and you shall receive.

There are programs, Churches, Spiritual Centers, AA, and so much more out there to help.  There are Credit Counseling Agencies for your debt.

Becoming proactive about cleaning up the outside of your life as you clean up the inside of your mind is empowering.  As you overcome your addictions, your unhappiness, your debt…you will become so confident and empowered in your life.  Your life will get better and better and better, one small step at a time.  One day you will stop and look around and be amazed at the new life you have built.

Make the choice today to start a new life.

Some resources that helped me recover my life and joy:

  • Joyce Meyers. She is on TV every day and has a website and hundreds of great books.  One that I really recommend is Battlefield of the Mind.  She has a worldwide ministry.
  • Joel Osteen. Has a large ministry, can be found on TV daily also, especially Sunday.  He has several great books.  He is very positive and uplifting.
  • The Everyday Life Bible with Joyce Meyer.  I enjoy this because she helps you understand and interpret parts of the Bible.  She helps us apply it to our everyday life.
  • The Law of Attraction with Abraham and Esther and Jerry Hicks.
  • The Secret.  This is a movie, it’s fun to watch and helps those new to Law of Attraction understand it.
  • AA.  The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.  The toll-free number to call and find meetings and help in your area is 844-801-4370.  You can also look online in your location for a meeting hall.  From there you will find meetings all over the place.  Don’t just go to one, try all kinds.  Some are fun and bright, some are dingy and in basements.  You just need to find one you can relate to and feel comfortable.
  • The Case for Christ, The Case for the Real Jesus, The Case for a Creator, The Case for Faith, all by Lee Strobel.  These books are amazing for answering all our questions that keep us from fully believing in God, Jesus, and the Bible.  This is some good reading for those of you on the fence with atheism to faith.

 

 

 

 

How to climb up out of poverty and addiction.

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Some of you who come across this write-up will not do it by coincidence, just as I did not write this by coincidence.  There is no such thing as coincidence, bad luck, good luck, or happenstance.  Everything has meaning, everything has a reason, and it is all of our creation.  Choices we made years ago may still be affecting us today, the feelings and thoughts we marinate in today will create our tomorrow.  You called this in to your experience today.

If you are struggling with hard times…financially and emotionally (because they go hand in hand), if you have more bills than a paycheck, big debt, and other dark times…I’m here to help!  I’ve got some great advice that I have used to pull myself up out of poverty, debt, and bad, bad habits.

First, know this; all this will pass.  You will not be here forever, the debt will go, the hard times will pass into more golden times, life is about to get easier and better.  I promise!  But…and here is the but, you have to be willing and surrender to the process.  Willing to do whatever you need to do to change your circumstances and surrender to whatever happens in the journey to get you from darkness to light.

There is a saying in the AA fellowship, “All you have to change is everything”.  There is also another saying, “You can’t change your situation from the same mindset that got you here in the first place” (not really word for word but you get the idea).

If you are in the crap hole of life and you want out…you will have to work from the inside out and outside in.  Your actions and your thinking got you here, so you will have to reinvent yourself.  How exciting and fun right?!  Yes, it is scary, but it is easier than you think and it will get easier with each step.

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Creating abundance for the future:

So, how do we start the climb?  Here are some ways to start fixing things from the outside and inside.

  • Take a good look at where you are financially and start finding ways to cut cost in big ways.  Move to a smaller home, get rid of cable, get rid of the car and bike or walk everywhere, reduce the cell bill, start finding ways to reduce the electric and water bills.
  • STOP going out, period.  Make all food and coffee from home.
  • Find every book on being frugal and use every tip.  Queen of Penny Pinching is my book and I have every bit of advice and tips that I had researched and read for years, along with my own practices.  I will teach you every frugal and thrifty tip and way to get out of debt, live on a tiny budget, and I will point you to other books and resources to help you in big ways.  I give away a free ebook at the beginning of each month so just look and you can get all kinds of great books of mine with tons of advice.
  • Start growing your own food.  Even if you have a patio you can grow buckets and pots of herbs and food.  Even some fruit and lemon trees grow in barrels.  Be creative.
  • Look up Dave Ramsey online for advice on getting out of big debt.
  • The Complete Tightwad Gazette was my frugal bible for years.  You can get it at the library.
  • Love the library.  You will never have to buy a book again.
  • Consider homeschooling.  It can be an amazing experience for the whole family and can be free if you utilize the library and internet.
  • There are all kinds of programs to help with food, shelter, college, free internet, discounts on electricity and gas.  Do some research to see what assistance you can get.  If you are in dire straights, get the help to help you up and out of the situation.
  • College can be free.  There are BOG fee waivers for free classes and financial aid for the books that you don’t pay back.  Go back to school to learn a new skill.  You don’t have to get a Masters, you could do a secretary program, dental assisting, mechanic, computer training, and all kinds of trades that take less than a year but will improve your life.
  • If you have an addiction or bad habit…overcome it.  Find AA meetings and support to heal and get sober.  Find a Church.  Get a community that is improving themselves.  You can NOT get out of poverty or a shitty situation if you use drugs and booze.  You must be clear and present.
  • Join a Church or Spiritual Center.  These people are loving God, living wholesome lives, are sober, and many of them are also working toward getting out of debt, overcoming addictions, and improving their lives. You need a support, a community of people that will show you the way and carry you when you need it.
  • Work toward moving up in your job or getting a better one.  Take classes or whatever you need to do.
  • Start working on your mind.  Get into huge gratitude, learn to be positive no matter what, and heal yourself.  I would suggest the Bible, Law of Attraction teachings such as Abraham with Esther Hicks, Tony Robbins, Florence Scovel Shinn, Joyce Meyers, Joel Osteen.  You can get it all free on the internet and Joyce and Joel are on TV.
  • Get negative people out of your life.  People that are doing drugs, drinking too much, angry, creating drama.  Act like they have the Black Plague.  For your spirit they do.
  • Find new and positive friends that are working hard on their lives to make them shine.
  • Believe in yourself.  Give yourself full respect, love, and honor your feelings.  If it doesn’t feel good go.  If it feels good stay.
  • Eat healthily and get rid of all the junk food.  Cook from scratch to get nutritious food and save money.
  • Exercise daily.  This will improve the mind, body, and spirit vastly.  It can be free.  Walk or do exercise on the internet for free.
  • Simplify your life.  Spend time alone if you need to for awhile.

This is a long list and simplified.  There is so much that goes into healing and righting the mind and changing your life.  You will need to do a lot of reading and research.  Think of it as the college of your life.  Jump in with both feet and get to work with all the diligence you can muster.  It takes some time to get a rhythm and start to see change and improvement and then it is like a domino effect.  Once the train gets going you become unstoppable.

Just don’t give up.

Many Blessings!

Queen of Sober: Getting Through the First Year by [Singh, Kate]